2015: My Year in Pictures

Happy New Year lovely people! I always like to start a shiny new year with a little reflection - looking back on the highs and lows, and looking forward by setting a focus and some intentions for the year ahead. One of the main ones this year is to live more in the moment, and to develop my meditation and mindfulness practice to help with that. But I don't think that means that you shouldn't reflect on what has been - I find I can learn a great deal that way, when it is done with kindness to myself. And it helps me realise how much I have to be thankful for, and how far I've come.

I thought I would gather together some of my favourite images of 2015 in some seasonal collections this time. It's always so hard to choose, but here are the Spring shots that make me smile:

I had the pleasure of discovering Merriments Garden, near Hawkhurst in Kent, and seeing it change colour through the seasons. There were plenty of walks on the beach in my beautiful new home town of Seaford. I was overjoyed to find row upon row of pretty colourful beach huts and soft sand and dunes at West Wittering. Then there were the beautiful tulips at Pashley Manor Gardens and the spectacular display of bluebells on the Arlington Bluebell Walk.

And here we have my summer picks (just look at all that colour!):

There was more feasting on colour at Merriments Garden, fun hunting down the colourful beach huts at Littlehampton and East Preston, a day of marvelling at the beauty and variety of the flowers at West Dean Gardens, and lots of time to enjoy the sunshine at home in Seaford.

And then we move on to one of my favourite seasons for colour and marvelling at the beauty of the world around us - Autumn:

I absolutely adore autumn. This year I had the pleasure of discovering some new haunts, including Sheffield Park & Gardens. But I had to return to my all time favourite, Westonbirt Arboretum, for a birthday photography shoot - their collection of Acers cannot be beaten.

And then to round things up, I have a collection of seascapes for you, as my first year living by the sea in East Sussex has meant lots of visits to the coast. I have thoroughly loved discovering so many new places and look forward to lots more of that next year. I am so deeply grateful that after years and years of discussion we were able to make our dream of living by the sea a reality. I love it here so much!

The first row shows Camber Sands, a beautiful big stretch of sandy beach with dunes behind and so much S P A C  E. Then we have the breathtaking Birling Gap, with its tall, sheer white chalky cliffs and giant rocks - I just adore this place - somewhere to really feel the power of nature and put your troubles in perspective. Row three are some favourites of Westward Ho! on a gorgeous summer evening - I love the space here and the beautiful pebbles. And finally we have a collection of shots showing Seaford Head and Cuckmere Haven (some of you may recognise this from the recent Luther episode) - the scenery that tempted us to move to Seaford.

If you'd like to see the full images, do have a browse through my 2015 Faves album on Flickr and you might also like to follow along on Instagram too.

So let me end by wishing you all a very Happy New Year, filled with many happy moments, and many flashes of inspiration. I'm off to ponder my 2016 goals and intentions and write them down in my 2016 planner :)

Thank you for being a part of my journey, and for all your support and encouragement - it is much appreciated xxx

2014: my year in pictures

On the last day of the year, I always like to look back and reflect on all that has happened - the highs and lows, challenges and adventures, and to share some favourite images....

2014 has certainly been a challenging year for me. It has been a year of learning to live with chronic fatigue, to figure out my path to recovery, to better understand myself. A year of exploring my creativity when my energy allows. And a year of deciding to move to pastures new: from a mad decorating frenzy in May/June, securing a buyer in July, to a summer tour of the UK deciding where to move to, and many bumps along the way. I'm very happy to say that we completed our journey two weeks before Christmas and are now happily ensconced in our new seaside home in Seaford. So I hope you'll understand why things have been rather quiet of late on here :)

First up, are some of my floral favourites. I've been a regular visitor to the beautiful Oxford University Botanic Garden over the seasons, and this year I got to visit the very beautiful Cambridge University Botanic Garden as well.

Next we have some seaside favourites - always so hard to choose! We had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful Christchurch on a sunny spring day, a delicious week in Watergate Bay in Cornwall in late spring and a fabulous summer week exploring South and East Devon and a little bit of Dorset.

Then I've put together a few favourite snaps of my home and vintage bits and bobs, as well as a few of my makes. I was delighted to have my home tour published in Mollie Makes back in January (you can read about it here and here), followed by the Back Page Project in the summer where I talked about getting my inspiration from the seaside. I'm excited to have a new home to style and decorate and make my own - so watch this space!

Next up are a selection of my favourite Blythe images from throughout the year. I always try and take a couple away with me on my trips - the outdoor shots are always my favourite :)

Now the year wouldn't be complete without a good dose of autumn colour. I just adore autumn leaves and was lucky enough to visit three arboretums this year: Batsford, Harcourt and Westonbirt. I'll have to find some new autumn haunts for next year!

And last, but most certainly not least, I thought I'd share some favourites from my new neck of the woods: East Sussex. We have visited many times this year as we researched where we wanted to move to, including a lovely week near Alfriston. We fell in love with Seaford - the stretch of coast between Seaford and Eastbourne is breath taking. We are spoilt with beaches, dramatic cliffs, undulating green hills and beautiful forest (and of course, Brighton is only a short hop away). I'm looking forward to lots of walking and exploring in 2015, with my camera of course! Still pinching myself to make sure we really do live here and feeling immensely grateful.

So, may I wish you all a very happy and fulfilling 2015, full of love and good times. Go follow your dreams! See you soon. Z x

NB. In case you are interested, many of these images are available to buy from my Red Bubble Shop in a variety of formats, including cards, prints, tote bags, cushions and iPhone cases :)